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4 delicious traditional foods from Qatar

19 Nov 2014 10 AM

4 delicious traditional foods from Qatar
Food and drink play a key role in Qatari life. Eating and drinking is an important social and family ritual and if you’re visiting Qatar, experiencing the country’s traditional cuisine is one of the best ways to make sure you have an authentic Qatari experience.

Eat like a real Qatari by having a light meal in the morning and evening and your main meal in the middle of the day. For those who practise Islam, the Friday midday meal after prayers is their family’s main weekly gathering. And if you’re lucky enough to be invited into a Qatari family’s home, you’ll usually have the chance to taste several delicious dishes all in the one meal.

Sharing similarities with other traditional cuisine across the Arab world, you’ll find strong influences from Iranian, Indian and North African food. So read on to find out more about the traditional delicacies you can expect to find on your trip to Qatar.


Ask a Qatari to recommend a signature Qatari dish and chances are they’ll say Machbous. This rich combination of Eastern spices, basmati rice, pine nuts raisons and either mutton, chicken or hamour fish is a staple meal in Qatar and if you’re lucky enough to eat it in a family home, it’ll probably be served in a large communal dish.

If you’re trying to find it in one of Doha’s more touristic areas, head to the food stalls at the Souq Waqif – one of Doha’s most important markets selling traditional garments, food and handicrafts. But if you don’t get chance to do this, you can sample a similar hamour fish dish at Hilton Doha’s Mawasem restaurant – seared hamour.


Mathrooba is another Qatari dish you won’t have to dig deep through Doha to find. In fact, it’s readily available at the Souq Waqif and is often eaten as a treat to break the fast of Ramadan.

Made with chicken in a creamy, buttery porridge, don’t judge this book by its cover – it may not look particularly appetising but its rich, hearty flavours make it delicious.

Kousa Mahshi

This dish of stuffed courgettes is popular all over the Middle East and shows the international influences at play in Qatari cuisine.
Stuffed with lamb and flavoured with mint and garlic, the courgettes are then baked in the oven before being served hot.

Wareq Enab

Wareq enab is another delicacy that Qatar shares with a fellow Arab nation – Lebanon. In this dish grape leaves are rolled around a filling of ground lamb, rice and spices and served as an appetiser or main course if you make a large quantity of them.

Like most traditional dishes, they taste best when they’re homemade but you can also enjoy them in restaurants and markets across Qatar.

So there you have some of Qatar’s most delicious traditional dishes and where to find them. If you’ve tasted anything particularly good on your travels through the Middle East, let us know!


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